Decatur Police want you to travel safely this year

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt November 27, 2013

Icon_PoliceDecatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross sent us the latest installment in her Holiday Safety series. This week’s edition focuses on safe holiday travel, something that many of us will be driving in (or against) today as people leave town for Thanksgiving.

Sgt. Ross said she remembers how her father, an Atlanta Police Officer, used to get her family ready to go on vacation.

“I recall thinking my father’s preparation ritual for holiday road trips was overly dramatic as it seemed like we were mobilizing for a road trip to Alaska instead of south Georgia or North Carolina,” Ross said. “I now understand that this was his way to keep his family safe and reduce the stress that comes with holiday travel so we could all enjoy ourselves.”

Here are some of Ross’ tips to help you travel safely this year:

Get the car ready. Change the oil. Check your tires and make sure you’ve got a spare. Rent a car if you don’t think your car will make it to your destination without breaking down.

Buckle your seatbelt. Make sure your passengers do the same.

Slow down. Let the tool that’s riding your butt pass you in traffic. Then you can have a good laugh when they get pulled over. Remember to wave as you pass by them on the side of the road.

Don’t drink and drive. C’mon people. It’s not worth it. Take public transportation, a taxi or get a ride from a friend.

– Keep a fully-stocked roadside emergency kit. Make sure you have jumper cables, flares, extra fuses, a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a tire inflator, a tire pressure gauge, screwdrivers, pliers, a wrench, duct tape, blanket, bottled water and energy bars. Keep your cell phone charged and bring a charger. (Just don’t leave that charger in plain view when you park your car.)

Stay cool. Take things easy, don’t get into a hurry and don’t wear yourself out before you even get on the road. “Whomever you are going to visit would rather you arrive a little later than for you to be in a crash,” Ross says in her email.

Or, as my dad once put it, “You’re better off late than dead.”

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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